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DATE=5/8/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=IRAN/JEWS (L-O) NUMBER=2-262112 BYLINE=LISA BRYANT DATELINE=CAIRO INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Two more Jews have confessed to spying for Israel in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. Five of the 13 Jews on trial have confessed to spying. From Cairo, Lisa Bryant reports on the recent developments surrounding the controversial closed-door proceedings. TEXT: A defense attorney for the Jews told reporters that Ramin Farzam and Nasser Levi-Haim had admitted to spying for the Israeli intelligence service. The defendant, Mr. Levi-Haim, also told reporters that he had been tricked by Israeli agents into spying. He said his confession had been made voluntarily, and without coercion from Iran's Revolutionary Court. The other defendant, Mr. Farzam, confessed on state- run television that he had been paid to spy by the Israeli government. Mr. Farzam, who is a store clerk, said he was caught before being able to relay any information. Three other defendants, or their lawyers, have admitted to similar charges. But a defense attorney for the Jews, Esmail Nasseri, said he doubts the validity of the confessions. Mr. Nasseri also said Iranian prosecutors have not produced any evidence - besides the confessions - to support the spying charges. Besides the 13 Jews, the Iranian government has also accused nine Muslims with participating in an alleged spy ring. The accusations, along with the closed-door court proceedings, have sparked an outcry by international human-rights groups. Foreign governments have also voiced concerns about the trial. The Israeli government has denounced the spying allegations as baseless. Critics also fear the Jews may be handed harsh sentences. Foreign diplomats warn that possible death sentences would undermine Iran's fledgling relations with the West. The court denied a defense request to allow outside observers to attend the trial. But Iranian officials - including President Mohammed Khatami - have previously said the trial will be fair. The proceedings have focused an unwelcome spotlight on Iran's estimated 30-thousand Jews. Many have voiced fear and concern about the repercussions of the spy trial. They also say they find it hard to believe that those accused - who include store clerks, scholars and students - would be capable of spying for Israel. (SIGNED) NEB/LB/RAE 08-May-2000 15:45 PM EDT (08-May-2000 1945 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .